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Photography from a moving position

posted in: General, Tips and techniques | 0

Night time photography from the car

Photographing anything from a moving position such as in a car (notably when your partner is in the driving seat I hasten to add) or any other moving transport can be somewhat challenging, but select the correct settings and some great results can still be achieved.

There are basically two options to consider:

  1. If it's light Use your camera on either aperture priority, (select a fast shutter speed, say 1/500th of a second or faster), adjust the ISO to the lowest you can get away with without adding too much noise and shoot away, or, use your camera on manual and set both the shutter speed, aperture and ISO (perhaps better for the more experienced user) and again shoot away. Alternatively
  2. If it's dark select ISO 200 again, then use your camera on shutter priority at say between 1 and 3 seconds (the length of time the aperture needs to be open will very much depend on the amount of ambient light you are shooting into) and either simply using the natural movement of the car shoot away. If you want to add even more shapes in your final image then try moving the camera in a small circular movement or zigzag and check your results after each frame to get an idea of what each movement will achieve. 


  • When it's dark try and select areas in, say towns and cities, where there are often many different coloured lights around, such as illuminated shop windows, traffic lights, multi-coloured illuminated signs, cars and buses etc. More colours will add additional interest to your images. 
  • With both day and night time shooting if the length of time for the shutter being open doesn't allow enough light into the sensor then try slowly increasing the ISO until the desired effect is achieved.

These two images were taken in the car travelling through London. Doesn't quite match up to the ones I took a few years ago in Hong Kong with all the amazing illuminated signs but a little easier to get to and still fun never the less!

London Bus movement
London Bus movement

Bus squiggles 2-1



















































Happy experimenting


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